On February 27, one of the leading “America bashers” on the political scene endorsed John Kerry for president. Speaking after a press conference at the National Press Club to rally support for Haiti’s Marxist President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Ramsey Clark said he’s voting for Kerry because he would take U.S. foreign policy in a new direction.
This is certainly true. Despite his reputation as a flip-flopper on major issues, Kerry has made it clear that he would have risked the lives of U.S. military personnel to protect the Marxist ruler of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Kerry outlined his position as it became clear at a March 3 hearing of the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere that Aristide’s regime was involved in drug trafficking, violence and murder, and that his “election” to the presidency was tainted by fraud and intimidation.
While supporting Kerry, Clark has called for the impeachment of President Bush for waging war on terrorists and Saddam Hussein in Iraq and has been labeled a “traitor” for his habit of showing up in countries hostile to the U.S. A lawyer, he has represented accused terrorists and war criminals. He reportedly played a role in arranging Dan Rather’s powder-puff interview with Saddam Hussein shortly before the war.
Clark works with International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), a front group of the communist Workers World Party (WWP), which embraces communist North Korea. The WWP is the main group behind the “anti-war” demonstrations against U.S. Iraq policy. Brian Becker, a member of the WWP secretariat, helped organize those protests and was the moderator of the Ramsey Clark press event on Haiti. On March 20, Clark, Becker and their cohorts are staging another “anti-war” protest in Washington.
AIM cornered Clark immediately after the news conference to ask about his view of Kerry. AIM then distributed a column about the matter. “I think John Kerry is a great human being,” Clark told AIM. “I knew him when he was?I call a youngster?in his 20s. I saw him as an extremely caring person, an extremely courageous person, and a person who was deeply concerned for peace and the well-being of other people.”
NewsMax.com recognized the newsworthy nature of Clark’s comments and highlighted Accuracy in Media’s revelation about his endorsement of Kerry. NewsMax commented, with tongue-in-cheek, that, “On top of his near sweep of Super Tuesday primary contests, likely Democratic nominee John Kerry has something else to celebrate tonight?the endorsement from his old anti-American Vietnam War protest buddy, Ramsey Clark [but] so far Sen. Kerry has yet to publicly thank his old friend and ally. Clark had better not hold his breath.”
But while Kerry may not want to highlight Clark’s support, Clark seemed eager to throw his weight behind the apparent Democratic presidential nominee. This is an indication that the international pro-Marxist movement finds Kerry acceptable.
This comes as reports appeared in the London Financial Times and the Washington Times that the communist regime in North Korea favors Kerry’s election this fall. Kerry is “getting good play In Pyongyang,” said the Financial Times. The communists think he will pursue a softer policy toward the regime’s nuclear weapons program.
Clark, who has traveled to North Korea to consort with the regime, served as LBJ’s Attorney General in the 1960s. He participated in the anti-Vietnam War movement in the early 1970s with Kerry, just back from the war, who accused his fellow soldiers of war crimes and genocide. Clark was a lawyer for Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and Kerry was a major leader of the group. A photograph at the time shows Clark on the same stage with Kerry.
Clark traveled to Hanoi, North Vietnam, from July 29 to August 12, 1972, under the sponsorship of the Stockholm-based International Commission for Inquiry, a Communist “peace” front. He was taken on a guided tour and denounced the U.S. bombing of North Vietnam. He also visited American POWs held by Hanoi, falsely declaring that they were in good health and their conditions “could not be better.”
Taking the Ramsey Clark line on Haiti, Kerry told a meeting of editors and reporters of the New York Times on February 24 that the Bush administration’s policy of not protecting Haiti’s Marxist President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was all wrong. He said the U.S. helped create the popular rebellion in Haiti that eventually forced Aristide to flee, that the administration withheld foreign aid to Aristide, and had a bad “attitude” toward him. The AP reported that Kerry decided to speak out on the issue after getting a telephone call from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who wanted President Bush to save Aristide’s regime and deploy U.S. troops to protect him in his presidential compound.
In a meeting with the New York Daily News editorial board, Kerry said that he would have intervened “unilaterally” with U.S. troops if necessary to save Aristide’s corrupt regime from a popular rebellion. Kerry repeated this position on March 6 in an interview with Times reporters.
Clark praised Kerry for taking this stand. “I didn’t suggest it to him,” Clark said. “I would have if I had seen him. But he found that one out for himself from his advisers and spoke out courageously on it, I thought.”
Times Endorses Kerry
Impressed by Kerry’s pro-Aristide policy, the New York Times on February 26 endorsed him for president in the Democratic primary, describing him as “one of the Senate’s experts in foreign affairs [who] exudes maturity and depth. He can discuss virtually any issue of security or international affairs with authority.”
After Aristide was gone, in a development greeted by jubilation in Haiti, the Times on March 4 editorialized that the Bush administration had conducted a “belated and ham-handed intervention” that “practically delivered Haiti into the hands of an unsavory gang of convicted murderers and former death squad officers?”
While some opposition members had unsavory pasts, Aristide wrecked the frail Haitian economy, murdered his political opponents, and made the impoverished country a major trans-shipment point for cocaine coming to the U.S.
In a story that got little attention outside of Florida, where he was sentenced to prison, convicted Haitian drug trafficker Beaudoin “Jacques” Ketant charged on February 24 that Aristide controlled 85 percent of the cocaine flow through the nation. Ketant, who was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison, charged that Aristide turned Haiti “into a narco-country. The man is a druglord. He controlled the drug world in Haiti.” His attorney, Ruben Oliva, said, “Certainly the government was the godfather. Everyone in Haiti that was engaged in this activity had to pay the government.”
Aristide was first “elected” in 1991 through violent intimidation and fraud. In his book, “In the Parish of the Poor,” he laid out his Marxist philosophy of the theology of liberation, his preference for violent revolution, and rejection of representative democracy. Aristide endorsed the necklacing of his political enemies, in which tires laced with gasoline were put around a person’s neck and set on fire. He was overthrown in a popular military coup but restored to power in 1994 by Clinton using U.S. troops. His “re-election” in 2000 was widely denounced as a fraud or sham. At the time, Senator Jesse Helms, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Rep. Benjamin Gilman, chairman of the House International Relations Committee, confirmed that Aristide is surrounded by “narco-traffickers, criminals and other anti-democratic elements,” and that the Clinton policy toward Haiti had failed.
Lynn Garrison, an adviser to the military group that deposed Aristide, searched Aristide’s living quarters after his departure and discovered his diary and psychiatric records. He said the diary laid out a Communist-style plan to cleanse Haitian society. The psychiatric records showed Aristide was a mental case dependent on mind-altering drugs.
The support for Haiti’s Aristide shows that Kerry, like Clark, hasn’t changed his radical views since the Vietnam days 30 years ago. They are on the far-left fringes of political thought. Then, they worked to guarantee a communist victory in Vietnam. In Haiti, they wanted to solidify a communist takeover. Clark’s enthusiastic endorsement of Kerry speaks volumes about the views of both men.
What’s more, Kerry’s statement on Haiti provides a concrete example of how a President Kerry would conduct his foreign policy. He would listen to people like Jesse Jackson and act on their advice.
Jackson, for his part, tried to use “The CNN Effect” to save Aristide. It is a term used to describe the impact of television on the conduct of foreign policy. Throughout February 26 and 27, the resources of CNN were put at the disposal of Aristide and his backers in the U.S., who were demanding immediate U.S. action to save the regime.
Jesse Jackson’s Megaphone
Jackson, who once hosted a CNN talk show, appeared on the network on February 26 to urge Bush to “send in some troops to defend the president’s [Aristide’s] compound as it is defending the U.S. embassy compound” and “urge the opposition to disarm with consequences.” In other words, Jackson wanted U.S. troops to defeat the popular resistance. Aristide also asked the U.S. to send troops to protect him.
CNN twice interviewed Aristide by telephone from his presidential compound, with correspondent Wolf Blitzer actually calling Aristide “a great Haitian patriot.”
CNN highlighted a dangerous and deteriorating situation, designed to provoke U.S. action to save the regime. The CNN headlines included, “Situation in Haiti Becoming Even More Dangerous,” “Haiti Crisis,” and “Haitians Afloat,” suggesting that if the U.S. didn’t act to save Aristide, thousands of Haitians were going to wash ashore in Florida.
Ignoring Patriotic Haitians
CNN ignored the views of Haitian-Americans who wanted to see Aristide go. When Aristide eventually fled, under U.S. prodding, Parnell Duverger of The Louverture Center for Freedom & Development issued a release saluting “the remarkable skills of U.S. diplomats and the demonstrated mastery, by the Bush administration, of all the complexities that define the Haitian political drama.” This was, indeed, a Bush foreign policy victory. But the media didn’t want to recognize it as such. Rather than concede the administration had handled the matter effectively, CNN became a platform for radical black activists in the Congressional Black Caucus and elsewhere who tried to insist that Aristide had been kidnapped.
CNN interviewed Randall Robinson, founder of TransAfrica, who took a call from Aristide and said, “He was abducted by the United States in the commission of a coup.” Rep. Charles Rangel, who also spoke to Aristide, told CNN, “He was kidnapped. He resigned under pressure.” U.S. officials denied those claims as nonsense, and even some reporters speculated that Aristide made the allegations to justify leaving the country to save his own neck. Aristide also told CNN directly that he was “forced to leave.”
Kerry joined in, saying on March 2 on the NBC Today Show that there should be “some investigation” of Aristide’s claims.
The Miami Herald subsequently quoted an Aristide bodyguard and others with him as he left the country as strongly denying claims that he was “kidnapped.” The firm that hired and provided his bodyguards also said claims of kidnapping were entirely false.
Those reporting the phony kidnapping claims ignored the fact that back in 1994, when the Clinton administration was trying to drum up support for Aristide’s return, it was revealed that the CIA had a report describing him as mentally unstable. Stories at the time even said that the CIA considered Clinton’s pro-Aristide campaign as “madness.”
CNN’s Deal With Aristide
CNN covered the February 27 Ramsey Clark news conference, and a CNN reporter was overheard after the event talking to one of the participants, Roger Ervin, a paid agent of the Aristide regime, about the arrangements that were made to get Aristide on the air for his CNN interviews.
The Ramsey Clark news conference was part of the escalating campaign, joined by the Congressional Black Caucus, to stampede the administration into sending troops to protect Aristide. But Associated Press reported that Secretary of State Colin Powell informed Ronald Dellums, “a former California congressman who is now a Washington lobbyist for Aristide,” that the U.S. “would not protect him from rebels who wanted him put on trial on allegations of murder and corruption.”
The other participants in the Ramsey Clark news conference were: Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Auxiliary Bishop, Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit; Ben Dupuy, Secretary General, National Popular Party, Co-Director, Haiti Progres newspaper; Ray Laforest, Haiti Support Network, unionist, Haitian Constituency USA; Peta Lindsay, ANSWER Youth & Student National Coalition, Howard University student; Kim Ives, Haiti Progres; Johnnie Stevens, International Action Center; Macrina Cardenas, Mexico Solidarity Network and ANSWER; Brian Becker, International Action Center and ANSWER; Rev. Graylan Hagler, Senior Minister, Plymouth Congregational Christ, Washington, D.C.; and Adam Taylor, Let Haiti Live.
The Congressional Black Caucus staged a much-publicized trek to the White House, demanding and receiving a meeting with Bush, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of State Powell. They also asked U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to intervene on Aristide’s behalf. None of this worked, of course, and Aristide fled the country.
The pro-Aristide campaign turned into a racist attack on Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega. Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) complained to Noriega in a meeting that the Bush administration had “a bunch of white men” running its “racist” Haiti policy. “As a Mexican-American, I deeply resent being called a racist and branded a white man,” said Noriega. Brown then told Noriega “you all look alike to me.”
In her “apology,” she said that her comments “were targeted at the Bush administration’s policy towards Haiti, which I do consider racist, not towards Secretary Noriega personally.” So she wouldn’t back away from the racism charge.
It was conduct like this that prompted the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, author of the new book, SCAM: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America, to ask for an investigation of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and its relationship with Aristide.
He said, “I find it disturbing that the Congressional Black Caucus is backing a corrupt and brutal man like Aristide…For the sake of Haitians and the American people we need these questions answered: 1. What do CBC members have to gain by keeping Aristide in power? 2. What is the nature of the relationship between CBC members and Aristide? 3. Do CBC members, their family, or friends have business interests in Haiti?”
Steve Miller of the Washington Times reported on March 5 that Aristide’s regime had spent $7.3 million between 1997 and 2002 lobbying in Washington, D.C.
Dellums, who was a member of the CBC, is a partner in the firm of Dellums, Brauer, Halterman & Associates, which registered as a foreign agent of Aristide. The latest documents show that the firm received $180,823.40 for a six-month period, while Roger Ervin, who runs Global Market Solutions, received $90,000.00 for a six-month period. Ira Kurzban, Haiti’s general counsel, received $400,193.28 for the same time period.
The Times said that a firm headed by Hazel Ross-Robinson, wife of Randall Robinson, received $367,967.
Aristide established an “Aristide Foundation for Democracy” with a board of advisors that included former Rep. Michael Barnes, Rep. Donald M. Payne, Taylor Branch, Rep. Carrie P. Meek, Dr. Glenn Bucher, N.C. Murthy, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Rep. Charles B. Rangel, Rep. Ronald Dellums, Michael Ratner, Jonathan Demme, Dr Paul Reiss, David Dinkins, Julia Roberts, Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, Randall Robinson, Ed Saxon, Ethel Kennedy, Irwin Stotzky, Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II, Susan Taylor, Charles J. Ogletree, Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Major Owens, and Amb. Robert White.
A July 17, 2000, Insight magazine article by Catherine Edwards reported allegations by a Haitian political figure that the foundation was “a front for illegal money laundering.”
Barnes, a Congressman from Maryland, was reportedly paid $55,000 a month in 1993 to lobby for U.S. action to reinstate Aristide. Barnes had been a Clinton fundraiser and former partner in Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger’s old law firm. Barnes’ campaign to restore Aristide to power was assisted by Randall Robinson of TransAfrica.
The Kennedy Connection
But the Kennedy connection is also interesting. In a June 30, 2001, Boston Globe op-ed article, Rep. Kennedy argued that the U.S. owed Aristide “a fair chance to govern.”
The Wall Street Journal reported, however, that Kennedy surfaced as a member of the board of Fusion Telecommunications International, which obtained a lucrative business deal with Haiti to handle international telephone traffic. Fusion’s CEO is Marvin Rosen, who was the finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 1996 Clinton fund-raising scandals. Another board member is Thomas F. McLarty, Clinton’s former chief of staff.
Lynn Garrison’s book, Voodoo Politics, said reports of contacts between Aristide and Clinton date back to 1992, before the start of the first Clinton term, when Jesse Jackson was reported to be a contact between the two men.
Garrison said the Clinton administration refused to bring a drug-trafficking indictment of Aristide because of his political and financial connections to the Democratic Party.
The press should be asking Bill Clinton why he restored this madman to power and prolonged the suffering of the people of Haiti. Senator Hillary Clinton also has a lot to answer for. Her book described the situation in 1994 as a case of “the elected President” of Haiti being returned to power “after a harrowing year of diplomacy and the landing of American troops.” That’s her way of describing how her husband risked American lives on behalf of a violent Marxist fanatic.
What You Can Do
Send the cards and letters to Rick Kaplan of MSNBC and Rep. Hefley. Also, order your copy of SCAM: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America.
|Mr. Rick Kaplan
One MSNBC Plaza
Secaucus, NJ 07094
|Rep. Joel Hefley
House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct
Washington, D.C. 20515-6328